Nepal news April 7, 2015

Nepal sign record sponsorship deal

Paras Khadka unveils the Nepal jersey with the Nepal Telecom logo © Kaushal Adhikari

The Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) has signed a three-year sponsorship deal worth 15.5 million Nepalese rupees (approx. $155,000) per year with the state-owned telecom giant Nepal Telecom. The deal is the biggest in the history of Nepalese sport. Nepal's men's and women's national teams will sport the Nepal Telecom logo on their kits, and every national cricketer will be a brand ambassador of Nepal Telecom.

"CAN is very pleased to have Nepal Telecom as a sponsor because involvement of big companies such as Nepal Telecom will give confidence to other players in the market to invest in cricket," Bhawana Ghimire, the CAN CEO, told ESPNCricinfo.

"This deal is very important for Nepal cricket because it is validation of the fact that the sport is growing in this country. This is a very promising sign and the game will only grow further, especially with our national team performing as well as they are."

The terms of the deal lay out how the sponsorship amount of NPR 15.5 million will be disbursed each year. Nepal Telecom has agreed to provide the CAN with an annual sum of NPR 8.5 million for the betterment of Nepalese cricket while also keeping in mind the best interests of the cricketers. The terms state that 25% of this amount will be paid directly to the national team players in the form of allowances.

The remaining NPR 7 million will be paid towards an annual T20 tournament that is to be organized by the CAN, called the 'Nepal Telecom Championship Trophy'. This tournament will be played once every year during the sponsorship term and will have a winner's cheque of NPR 1 million (approx. $10,000). The tournament is set to become Nepal's most lucrative cricketing event.

The Nepal national team has been without a sponsor for around a year now. Ghimire informed ESPNCricinfo that the previous deal, with Pepsi and Standard Chartered, was worth around $30,000 per year.

Ghimire also informed ESPNCricinfo that the CAN, in early April, had sold television rights to NTV, Nepal's oldest and most watched television channel, for a sum of NPR 1.8 million (approx. $18,000) per year, three times the value of the previous television deal that the CAN had signed with NTV.

The broadcast rights have been sold for a period of three years, during which time NTV is expected to broadcast domestic and international matches played in Kathmandu.

"NTV are under an obligation to telecast at least 4-5 matches per year," Ghimire said. "Matches played in tournaments such as the Nepal Telecom Championship Trophy will also be broadcast on NTV. If resources permit, they will telecast even more games, possibly even those played outside Kathmandu".

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